Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Faction War Interview: chatgris

chatgris is CEO of QCATS, the current all-time top killers in Gallente militia. As if that wasn't enough he is also ranked higher than me on "babes of new eden". Pish!

I am pleased to present my first interview of 2011, and thanks very much to chatgris for agreeing to take part.

Name: chatgris

Corp & Role: Quantum Cats Syndicate, CEO

Militia: Gallente

Most likely to be seen: Roaming the caldari/gallente warzone wherever intel has reported wt's

How did you get started in FW and what did you do in New Eden before this?

The person who invited me to play eve was a miner, and I spent the first 7 months of my time in eve mostly running missions. Pvp had always interested me, but I had done my research and determined that against a competent opponent in a 1v1 I would need my support skills (things like overheating, max capacitor skills, good nav skills etc), and as such put off pvp until I had at least 6 months of support skills trained (and this was only to be able to fly a t2 fit rifter).

I always had a revulsion against 0.0 and its politics, so FW seemed like a natural choice for me.

I looked on the killboards to find a corp that looked reasonably active, and started my FW career in Pillowsoft.

What are your preferred ships/fleet types?

Nano bc's with at least a 60km engagement envelope. I prefer fleets where most people are solo, all out trawling the warzone for targets and organically converging when we find an enemy fleet. However, my tastes change rapidly as I am now fully specced for perception and willpower (having maxed out all my support skills) and am able to fly a wider variety of ships.

Your corp, Quantum Cats Syndicate, is one of the oldest active Gallente Militia corps. Can you tell us about the corp and what you currently get up to?

QCATS aims to provide a relaxed and drama free pvp environment, where we don't take any ISK from you or demand that you ever join us in any kind of operation. If anyone has ideas for corp programs/activities (successful examples are corp ship programs, corp tournaments etc), I encourage them to lead the efforts themselves. Most of my directors started by running a successful corp activity.

The only rule with these corp programs is that they must not infringe in any manner upon those who do not wish to participate (no corp taxes etc).

As far as what we get up to... we seek out pvp wherever it may be, and go there. Every now and then I just go in a random direction and keep flying, and then end up with a great fight on my hands causing people to travel 17 jumps (they complain but they're such killmail whores they can't stay home) to come join in.

QCATS has had it's fair share of personal dramas to deal with. The MDP, The formation of SLAPD, various changes in leadership and no doubt other issues I am not aware of. How has the corp changed and evolved over the last few years??

The core values of QCATS, its leadership (I have always been a director from early in QCATS FW history) has remained fairly constant, with the following exceptions: Our recruiting stagnated (and is now far less spy-paranoid) during our time in the MDP, and our ROE has changed from NRDS to almost pure NBSI (no shooting t1 industrials or miners - and for the record I'd be very happy with full NBSI but I follow my corps wishes).

Both of these major changes were heavily influenced by the formation of SLAPD with some of our best pilots. SLAPD basically took all our rules and threw them out the window. It showed me how some of those rules were more trouble than they were worth, and just how precious some of our other rules were (such as our no smacktalk rule)

In the EU time zone we have seen various lulls in war-target activity over the years. At one point early last year my own corp even questioned staying in the militia because things had become so quiet. How have things fared in the US time zone and how has your corp coped with long periods of low war-target activity?

Caldari activity in the US TZ has been spotty at best ever since Gavin left the militia. Some weeks are great, most weeks are slow and the second any kind of activity is reported a mass exodus out of the heyd station occurs. We have coped with the lulls in caldari militia activity in the following ways:

- Playing league of legends. One of my favourite past times, partly because I get to play this game with caldari militia members (who we let on our vent server. The way I see it, it's foolish to think we don't already have spies in there, so why cut yourself off from interesting people?)

- Amarr/minmatar FW. We have been close to changing to the amarr/minmatar side (and have spent time roaming in their space when it's slow in the caldari warzone), and in fact as I type this I have an alt as CEO of QCATS while my main is in the TLF trying out their missions (they are so easy I can run them in pvp ships! love it) and getting a feel for their warzone.

- Becoming NBSI. If I could graph member security status loss against caldari activity, you would see a strong inverse relationship.

You have been present through many "phases" in the Caldari militia and seen many FC's and corps come and go. What is your opinion of your war-targets? Who brings (or brought) the best fights? Do you think the Caldari will ever regain the upper hand in Black Rise?

The bulk of the caldari militia in the US TZ perplex me. When they organize an operation, they can get large fleets out that heavily outnumber ours (and I make a point of going against them regardless of our numbers whenever they leave high sec, even as some of my fellow pilots accuse me of suicide). However, they seem to spend a lot of their time disinterested in combat - and I have no idea what they do in the meantime.

Having said that, there are caldari corporations not much unlike QCATS - they live in lowsec, they regularly roam (albeit in small gangs that are often outnumbered). The4, wolfsbrigade are two such corporations that spring to mind, but I am sure there are others.

"Ever" is a long time - so I think they will. I sincerely hope they do so while the group of pilots I fly with are still active. I sincerely miss the days before Gavin left when we were heavily outnumbered in lowsec in all timezones, and whenever I undocked I could be sure to find large groups of targets that I could skirmish against. From experience - it is far, far more fun to be on the side that is outnumbered

What are your favourite things about Faction War? What is it that keeps you here?

An environment to pvp, where the consequences don't matter. Once the consequences for pvp matter (losing access to a station or your assets, POS's etc), the game turns into a job. I allow my corporation members to put up POS's, but I state very clearly that I will never wake up to an alarm clock to defend them (and that no-one in corp should ever feel obligated to do so), a threat I have followed through with on a few occasions.

Apart from that - friendship with a lot of my "enemies" keeps me interested in staying in factional warfare. In 0.0, warfare denies your opponent something they have put time and effort into, in FW people are generally just here to pew pew. It has never been my intention to cause anyone grief while playing, and I am guilty of often covering the ship losses of opponents who obviously just jumped into lowsec and have no idea what they are doing, let alone how to fit a ship. The only other place with such concensual pvp that might interest me is RvB.

I am currently writing an article on how the experience for new pvpers, joining FW for the first time, has changed dramatically since FW was introduced. What advice would you personally give to a new pvp'er joining the Gallente Militia for the first time?

Look at the killboards ( to see the most active corporations in a month. Look at the kills, and see what timezone those corporations are in. Narrow it down to a list, and contact those corporations to learn more. Don't necessarily go with the top killers, try to find out what the corporation is like and don't be afraid to ask questions. Even if you like solo pvp, it's fun to have people to talk to while you do it.

What changes would you like to see with FW mechanics? If you could have CCP fix one thing in particular what would it be?

I love the concept of plexes, and it saddens me greatly that CCP has completely fubar'd the implementation. I cannot give one particular change, but rather I would like plexing to be fixed to facilitate more pvp. My view on that, in no particular order is:

- Remove fw missions or make them count as a plex in terms of occupancy (I'd prefer they were removed).
- Give rewards for plexing
- Balance or just outright remove NPC's from plexes to encourage more pvp
- Fix the bugs that result in plexes being stuck until the next downtime
- Pirate faction ships should be bumped up a category (drams only allowed in cruiser and up plexes etc).

What does the future hold for you?

I'll admit that I am currently restless with eve. A friend of mine from the caldari militia recently quit eve, saying that he'd waited for 2 years for CCP to fix FW, and he's had enough, and I am close to sharing his sentiment. However, on the same note I've seen a few people quit for similar reasons, and then come back after a very short hiatus.

I've tried plexing, but orbiting a button while jammed for 15 minutes didn't hold much interest for me. Thanks to FW missions, I have more ISK than I know what to do with. If it weren't for the FW standing issue when remote repairing, I might try full -10 piracy.

Having said all that - I really like most of the people I share comms with in eve, and will probably stay with them. I expect to be in factional warfare until the end of my eve career, or until a new sci fi game comes out with less balance issues and bugs than eve

A favourite memory from your time in the militia?

Placing the decision for an on the fly ROE change in the hands of a fellow corporation member and taking down a freighter in lowsec, and the hilarious (and well deserved) ribbing I received from the SLAPD directors who had split away from QCATS largely over the ROE in the first place.

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  1. Nice interview all around. G6

  2. Welcome to the EVE Blog Pack. If you could write a little something about it, I'd appreciate! Cheers!